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Ford Fusion Hybrid: 1,445.7 Miles, One Tank of Gas.

How far can you go on one tank of gas? A team of drivers has driven 1445.7 miles on one tank of gas in a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, averaging a remarkable 81.5 miles per gallon on roads in the Washington DC area. Team members included CleanMPG.com’s Wayne Gerdes, NASCAR driver Carl Edwards (shown below), and four Ford engineers, Sherif Marakby, Gil Portalatin, Tom Rolewicz, and Steve Burke.

Carl Edwards and the 1000 Mile Challenge Ford Fusion Hybrid

The team set out on Sunday morning with a goal of breaking the 1000 mile mark, in an effort to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The Fusion Hybrid was a standard production model, running on 87 octane gas. It was not modified for the event. After driving for 69 hours continuously, the tank finally ran dry early this morning.

Edwards was at the wheel at the 1000 mile point. He was flown up to the Washington DC area shortly after crashing out of Sunday’s Talladega NASCAR race.

In order to achieve the remarkable results, the Fusion Hybrid was driven at speeds between 20 and 45 miles per hour (MPH), with cruise control off. (The Fusion Hybrid has the ability to glide under electric power at speeds under 47 MPH.)

When asked (during a Twitter session) what special techniques he used during his high-MPG driving stint, Edwards replied, “Special Driving style today? Took off my right shoe and hardly used the brakes.”

Driving techniques used by the team included:

  • Slowing down and maintaining even throttle pressure;
  • Gradually accelerating and smoothly braking;
  • Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles and anticipating traffic conditions;
  • Coasting up to red lights and stop signs to avoid fuel waste and brake wear;
  • Minimize use of heater and air conditioning to reduce the load on the engine;
  • Close windows at high speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag;
  • Applying the “Pulse and Glide” technique while maintaining the flow of traffic;
  • Minimize excessive engine workload by using the vehicle’s kinetic forward motion to climb hills, and use downhill momentum to build speed; and
  • Avoiding bumps and potholes that can reduce momentum

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8 comments ↓

#1 Joe Fitzgerald on 04.28.09 at 10:33 pm

jeez….why didnt they drive it down large mountain passes too…anything to get the best mileage. provide some real driving, real world situations (ie, going to work, driving at least speed limit (45 on the metro..come on!!), etc.). Driving like that in most cities will get you shot.

#2 Alex on 04.29.09 at 1:25 pm

Not even the “little ol’ lady from Pasadena” drives like that. What would be the mileage if it was normal driving? Quit the publicity stunts and get on with reality. A friend of my brother’s has a Honda Civic Hybrid and got 65 MPG on a trip back from New Mexico driving normally.

#3 mpg-o-editor on 04.29.09 at 1:39 pm

@Alex – The Little Old Lady from Pasadena definitely didn’t drive like that.


The guys come to race her from miles around
But she’ll give ‘em a length then she’ll shut ‘em down

And everybody’s saying that there’s nobody meaner
Than the little old lady from Pasadena
She drives real fast and she drives real hard
She’s a terror out on Colorado Boulevard

#4 Insight on the 81.5 MPG Ford Fusion Hybrid on 05.01.09 at 6:41 am

[...] So what’s it like to drive the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid that set the remarkable record of 1445.7 miles on one tank of gas? [...]

#5 Sue on 05.03.09 at 12:52 pm

Maybe more people should drive like that and there wouldn’t be so many accidents, pollution and fuel shortage. I challenge anyone who reads this to drive like that, as much as possible and record how many MPG your own vehicle gets. I bet you would be pleasantly surprised.

#6 Tom Carter on 05.04.09 at 11:08 am

Why didnt they do exactly the same test with honda and toyota Hybrid. Then there would be something to sink your teeth into if there was an apples to apples comparison test

#7 Glen on 06.13.09 at 4:29 am

I have driven around DC and the suburbs of. Where exactly did they drive the Ford Fusion around DC, and did not get tailgated or pushed driving at those slow speeds? I want one like it!!!

I drove my 1997 Mercury Tracer LS sedan (had 44,000 miles on the odometer) with a 2.0 4 cylinder and 5 speed manual transmission from a Liberty gas station south of New Market VA to the Sheetz gas station in Haymarket VA – 86 mile trip – on exactly 2 gallons of gas. I left the Liberty gas station driving gently and drove at speeds of 30 – 40 mph on the interstate on icy road conditions with the heater, radio, and headlights on. Guess I could have gotten 44 miles per gallon if I had driven during the day where I would not have had the headlights on.

#8 Mike on 07.28.09 at 3:26 am

@Sue

I live in the South. You drive like that and you’re bound to be shot before too long. When I see people in their Priuses driving like that in the left lane, I feel like buying a monster truck and “accidentally” driving over top of them. You might be saving yourself $ and gas, but you’re wasting it for everyone else who gets frustrated and drives recklessly to get around you–not to mention the accidents you’re precipitating.

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